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citizen petitions

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citizen petitions

The discriminatory way and administrative negligence of responding to the rights of petition that citizens present to public entities to demand responses to their petitions that lead to seeking solutions to their social demands has become a landscape. The same happens with the information that journalists request from entities to disseminate government actions through the media. It is necessary to remind these officials that the information is public, except when investigations are carried out by the control organisms, which becomes a reserve of the summary. But in the other administrative procedures, said managers or office secretaries are constitutionally obliged to provide information when requested.

For this reason, citizens resort to guardianship. It is the legal figure most used and closest to ordinary Colombians, who have faced various threats since its very creation by the 1991 Constitution that, fortunately for the country, have not been imposed. From attempts to limit its scope to its misuse in tutelage and other deviations from the spirit of constitutional protection, throughout the last three decades initiatives have been promoted from various sectors that attempt against the purpose of the constituent, which was none other than the to give ordinary citizens a powerful tool to make their fundamental rights prevail.

This legal instrument continues to be used by various actors of public opinion to demand compliance with the missionary aspects of public entities. But it is very depressing that in some offices of the public administration at all levels, there are officials who refrain from fulfilling their duties and as if that were not enough, they refuse to provide information inherent to their tasks. Even when there are court rulings, they sometimes fail to comply with said rulings. On many occasions they submit to being sued again and incidents of contempt, which generates pecuniary and criminal measures.

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When citizen petitions affect a conglomerate, they go out to protest on the roads, causing blockages due to broken promises, as is currently happening. It is important that these situations should be avoided in fact. It is about guaranteeing the primacy of the general interest, without this effort implying ignorance of the constitutional precepts. For this reason, it is important to use the search for dialogue and consensus, which must be a permanent purpose of our society. And the best way to expose those who bet on chaos is to build trust with a firm but always sensible exercise of authority. And officials have that opportunity to maintain close ties with the communities. This is how we avoid this institutional wear and tear.

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